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MTN says “no legal merit” to Turkcell’s Iran claims

MTN says “no legal merit” to Turkcell’s Iran claims.

Mobile operator MTN Group plans to oppose the latest court salvo against it in South Africa by Turkish mobile phone company Turkcell.

Turkcell has launched a lawsuit in South Africa against MTN Group seeking damages for losses it says it incurred in Iran.

Last year, Turkcell filed a $4.2 billion lawsuit in the US alleging that MTN Group used bribery to win an Iranian mobile license, which was first awarded to Turkcell.

Turkcell, though, dropped the lawsuit in May this year amid concerns that a US court does not have jurisdiction in a matter involving two foreign firms outside the US.

"In a continuation of this process, Turkcell today opened a lawsuit against MTN in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg seeking damages for losses incurred as a result of MTN's actions," the Turkish company said.

In a statement, MTN Group says it has no comment on the matter as it has not yet received court papers.

But MTN, with 203.8 million subscribers across Africa and the Mideast, says it plans to oppose the court action against it.

“The MTN Group has noted reports that Turkish mobile phone operator Turkcell Iletisim AS (Turkcell) has re-filed its lawsuit against MTN in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg,” MTN says.

“Although we don’t have details of the case, MTN continues to believe that there is no legal merit to Turkcell's claim and will accordingly oppose it,” MTN adds.

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